Anxiolytic effects of cytotoxic hippocampal lesions in rats.
Deacon RMJ., Bannerman DM., Rawlins JNP.
Rats with cytotoxic lesions of the hippocampus were given 3 anxiety tests: social interaction with a novel rat, the elevated zero-maze (a modification of the plus-maze), and hyponeophagia (eating familiar and novel foods in a novel place). Marked anxiolytic effects were seen in the social interaction and hyponeophagia tests, but not on the zero-maze. These results confirm and extend previous experiments that used traditional lesion techniques. The zero-maze result was consistent with other experiments using the plus-maze, in which intrahippocampal administrations of pharmacological agents were not anxiolytic, although variability in ethological tests may also be a factor. As the hyponeophagia test used an elevated apparatus, as in the zero- and plus-mazes, the lack of a lesion effect in the zero-maze was unlikely to have been due to an inability to relieve height-induced anxiety.